Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Floating - Summer Edition

Day Four and it's official, Alaska likes things BIG. We embarked at noon on a raft float down the Talkeetna River ("na" is the suffix in Athabaskan denoting "river of" - therefore, "Talkeetna" means "River of Plenty") It's a beautiful, relaxing float and raft guide, Bryce, was informative about both our surroundings and his extremely diverse life pursuits.

The tiny-looking blue boat on the left is the Talkeetna Queen. The owner, a very nice and completely insane friend of Bryce's took that drafter boat UP the Devil's Canyon, a nearby set of Category SIX white water rapids years ago, losing all his front teeth in the endeavour. Apparently, it's still viewable on YouTube videos from "The Wide World of Sportsl.

We floated down the Talkeetna nearly to the giant triple confluence that becomes the "Big Su" or Susitna (River of Sticks).

We wandered through "Main St, Talkeetna" for lunch but couldn't wait for a table at this place which came highly recommended (to everyone, apparently): we decided to try this one across the street (also recommended):

We were forearmed with the knowledge that Mountain High's calzones were ENORMOUS so we ordered one to share. It was still HUGE.

See? Like how I made Jeff stick his hand in for proportion comparison?

We also discovered a yummy soda at Mountain High: 

After lunch we headed back through town, catching a few quirky photo ops 

en route to the shuttle that delivered us to the hotel to board the bus to take us to our last rail leg of this trip into Anchorage. The dinner shift!

I haven't written about train food so far because it has been mostly forgettable. The scenery has, by far, out-shone the food. Dinner was good though. Solid and tasty. Solid and tasty and pricey.

Jeff had the prime rib:

And I had the lemon halibut:

which, sadly, photographed blurrily.

Being our last train meal, I even treated myself to a glass of wine which was an unfortunate pinot grigio in a sturdy, train-tolerant glass:

Our rail guide had a long section of her script devoted to the praise of Sarah Palin as we passed through Wasilla. I was (easily) distracted by this cute little establishment spied through the window which, coincidentally, had a cop leaving just as our train whipped by:

Anchorage isn't much to look at but it is obviously an important rail hub.

They also have really nice hanging flower baskets.

(I thought it auspicious that the ones in front of our hotel are red & white ... to make the Canadians feel at home, eh?)